Hand It On: A look back on 2015

Hand It On: A look back on 2015

(WAFB) - Baton Rouge really defines "community helping community." Our Hand It On program is simply a vehicle and will continue to be your vehicle into 2016.

Here are just some of the many ways you helped each other in 2015 as we take a look back.

With feel like temperatures at and above 106 degrees last summer, Catholic Charities brought tears to many eyes with the gift of cool air. They used the Hand It On money to not only purchase window units, but actually installed them in homes throughout the greater Baton Rouge area.

There were stories of inspirations too. Like how parents of middle and high school students Handed It On to a former prison inmate, Israel Burden, for his life changing mentoring of youth in our community. Coach Ice Cream, as he is known, volunteers as a football coach with a community football team. While working with the kids, Coach Ice Cream instills in these young men values through his life example. The bottom line in his life lesson? Your past does not equal your future.

Then the story of Collette Dessells, a victim of domestic violence. Her passion and desire to help other women in her situation led her to open a safe house for abused women.

Other stories of compassion in 2015 included the incredible work of Ms. Gerry Stark, a lady who makes sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic grocery bags! Gerry also teaches a monthly class to others interested in doing the same.

Then we met an incredible local hero. Glasgow Middle School student Joshua Butler who saved his family from a devastating house fire. Joshua's mom feels very strongly that had it not been for Joshua they would not have made it out alive.

And so many other organizations like St. Vincent de Paul feeding upwards of 550 people each holiday.

And the Salvation Army's Angel Tree project bringing lasting smiles to children all over the Baton Rouge area through their Angel Tree project. The community really came together by taking names off the tree and purchasing gifts. Over 4,000 children had a great Christmas who otherwise would have gone without presents.

And there are so many more stories to share in 2016. With your help, WAFB's Hand It On program will be right here for you! Community helping community. That's what it's all about. To nominate ordinary people making contributions in extraordinary ways, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com. Make sure to include your contact information, especially phone number.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.